When we are going to program, it does not matter if it is a game, a program, a website or a script, it is necessary to prepare. We must think carefully about the project that we are going to carry out, we must prepare the systems, have the programs at hand and access to the documentation we need. However, before you start writing code as such in the editor, you need to carry out a previous task, something that in the world of programming is known as pseudo- programming .
Pseudo- programming , or pseudo-code, is a practice by which, before starting to program any project, on how the project should work. In this scheme, natural human language is used instead of machine language to be able to understand, at a glance, how the program should work.
There is no universal language to create the pseudo-code of the program, since that depends on each programmer. The important thing is to outline how the code should be and how it will work once compiled. We can write code as is, on a sheet, or use schemes or diagrams that allow us to see the program in a much more graphical way.
Some of the elements that must be present in the pseudocode of any program are:
- Functions and operations.
- Control structures.
- Loops and interactions.
When using natural language, this code does not compile . It is a code that is created on a personal level to know what steps to follow or introduce new necessary functions before having already written the code. Nor should we confuse it with ” skeleton programs “, drafts of reusable code, which compiles perfectly, and which are used to “recycle”. For example, the bases of algorithms.
Advantages and problems of pseudo-programming
The main advantage that we find when working with this type of code is that it uses a simple and unstructured language . That is, we program as if we were telling someone else how the program should work. In this way, it improves programming and facilitates the resolution of possible problems that may appear during programming or debugging.
Pseudocode is easier to write and interpret than normal code. Therefore, in addition to being a good source of learning for the structure of languages, it is also a good source for other people to help us with the code without having to know the complete language.
Unfortunately, the lack of standards can make it difficult to understand the code, since everyone writes it in their own way. Also, in very extensive programs, things tend to get too complicated, making projects longer than necessary.
And, of course, carrying out this pseudo-programming takes time, time that in projects must be justified and must be worthwhile.
Programs to help write pseudocode
As a general rule, pseudocode is usually done with paper and pencil . This way it is much faster to carry out and, in addition, it provides us with the possible corrections that we may find while we are doing it. However, there are programs designed to help us in this work.
PSeInt, the Spanish program to write pseudocode
This free and open source program is one of the most common when it comes to helping students take their first steps with pseudo-programming. This program has a very simple pseudo-language system, in Spanish. Which, together with the flowchart editor, helps us to shape our program. All this in a schematic way, very clear to understand and, in addition, with a large amount of teaching aids and resources.
We can download this program for free from its website .
Edpcs, a veteran of pseudo-programming
Another free and OpenSource alternative designed to help us with pseudo-programming. A very veteran program created, above all, for the education sector. It has a tab-based interface and an infinity of possibilities when it comes to shaping our code. Among its main characteristics, we can highlight, for example, bringing as standard structures such as If..Then, If..Then..Else, For..Do, While..Do to facilitate the creation of this pseudo-program.
We can download this program from this link .